Using AI is a Skill

I've been doing lots of interviews recently and the structure hasn't changed since I started in 2014. But yet, we have just had a major technological breakthrough that's being compared to the car or steam engine. Why is this not covered in technical interviews? Why are we being asked to disable GitHub Copilot or being told explicitly not to use ChatGPT?

DSA questions are checking a few things.

  1. Knowledge of at least one programming language
  2. Ability to problem solve
  3. Ability to measure complexity and optimize performance

All of these can be checked while still using AI. And I would argue that the best way to do each of these is with AI.


Let's say I'm given a challenge to create a countdown timer between now and some future date. If I start typing...

function countdownTimerInDaysHoursMinutesSeconds() {}

and wait a few seconds, I will get a code suggestion and it will likely be better than one I could come up with. If I talk through the generated code, well then...

  1. I showed my knowledge by just writing function then the function name. And by explaining what's happening line-by-line, I show that I can read code with ease
  2. I solved the problem. In fact, I solved it better and faster than doing it manually
  3. If I mention how I would have done it, I can say how its version is better. Or if I would've done it the same way, I can cycle through suggestions until I get one that's less than ideal and talk through that. This shows my ability to optimize performance

Suggestion to Interviewers

Give problems that line up with the business and have the candidate solve them however they would in the real world. This way you get a sense for their aptitude like a normal tech interview, while also seeing their ability to leverage AI.